Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Unbearable

I read this somewhere:

"Toddlers will most resemble the spawn of Satan around their half-birthdays. The same toddler who was sweeter n' cream at 2, 3 and 4, may behave like a rampaging Chucky doll at 2 1/2, 3 1/2 and 4 1/2."

Maybe I'm paraphrasing a little.

Anyway, Jarrah will be 3 1/2 in two days, and for the past six months, she's been pretty reasonable. Reasonable in the sense that she can be bribed and blackmailed with alacrity, and sometimes does what I say as if it's her own idea. I've started getting a bit smug, to tell you the truth. "Well," I opine, "the Terrible Twos were accurately named, but Three is a breeze. Three is a spa day. Either that, or I'm a kick-ass mom. Yeah, it's probably the latter."

Not so much, after the last couple of days. As you may have read, Jarrah has been sick and potty-training. Big stuff. But the potty party is going well, and she seemed totally better as of Monday evening, so were did it all go wrong?

I'll tell you where. On top of the refrigerator. Where the gummy bears live. Those scrumptious, rubbery little ursine treats. Maybe THEY are the spawn of the devil.

Tuesday afternoon Jarrah woke up from her nap said:

"I want gummy bear."

"Sure," I said. I'm just awesome like that. "Right after you wash your hands."

"GAAAAAHHHHH! WAAAAAAAAHHHHH! [loop endlessly, with a drop, roll and scream combination]

"Okay. I guess you don't really want one."

I walked out of the room and started sweeping the kitchen (see what I have to resort to?) because this kind of thing happens, and then it blows over in about 10 seconds when she realizes she doesn't have an audience anymore. I waited. I did the dishes. I folded some laundry. I called a friend. We were going on 30 minutes now, and not only wasn't it stopping, she'd added what my opera teacher used to call her "whistle register."

I peeked around the corner. She was still rolling and screaming, and now blubbering "You're not my best friend! You're not my best friend!" I'm so sure!

I picked her up and carried her to the rocker, and rubbed her back until the noise stopped. You might think I should have done that right away, but seriously, I've never needed to before. When she was herself again, we had a long talk about her Right to Bear gummy bears and how you don't see Mommy and Daddy rolling and screaming when we don't immediately get what we want. (We do it, of course, but only when she's not looking.) She seemed to get it in a worldly-wise kind of way, and once again I chalked it up to my mad parenting skillz.

Today she asked for a gummy bear before her nap. "Sure," I said, and gave her one. After her nap, she awoke with the following on her lips:

"You promised me a gummy bear."

"I don't think I did. And I gave you one already."

"NO!!!! No, no, no, no, no." She started rolling and sobbing in her bed. I said:

"I guess I'll come back when you calm down."

I listened to her screech and wail for nearly a half an hour. I called David. I needed to do something. Every time I looked in on her, she shrieked, "I WANT GUMMY BEAR! I WANT GUMMY BEAR NOW!"

"You know what?" I said, finally. "I don't like what gummy bears do to you. I'm throwing them away." And I did, accompanied by screeches that suggested a bunch of horsemen were headed our way.

When I couldn't stand it anymore and picked her up, she spent the next 10 minutes sobbing into my shoulder, repeating "GOO-MEE BAY-UH...GOO-ME BAY-UH..." while I laughed silently into her hair. And then, the refrain suddenly changed, "POP-SICK-UH INSTEAD! POP-SICK-UH INSTEAD!"

"Can you ask nicely?" I whispered in her ear.

"May I have a popsicle, please?" she asked in her TOTALLY NORMAL EVERYDAY VOICE.

"Is there something you'd like to say to me first?"

"Mommy, I'm sorry for making you crazy."

So, I ask you: is my child going over to the Half-Year dark side? Or does she just have a gummy monkey on her back?

8 comments:

Type (little) a said...

Sabrina is still taking disappointment HARD. I think the thing I hear most right before the whining and screaming is "But I said pleeeeaaasse"

I feel you, man.

Love,
Your least reliable commenter.

Anonymous said...

This is eerily similar to what's been happening around here the last several days. The difference is that it sounds like you handle your little monster more gracefully than I do mine. It's gotta get better again soon, right?!

Karol

Jennifer said...

Maybe I shouldn't be laughing, but I just can't help it! :) As always, I love the Jarrah stories!

dena said...

I am frequently convinced that my children are possessed...from time to time, I expect their heads to start spinning uncontrollably during their tantrums.

Hang in there...your "mad parenting skillz" should keep you going! Otherwise, just keep blogging about your ups and downs...I think we can really relate & it helps us to feel better!!!

Chinazhoumom said...

Hey - I know that persoon - she raises her crazy head every once and a while - I like you dig in deeper - the lounder the screatching gets ! Once you cave - they have you in their palm - for next time and the next and the....
Carol - mama to a 3.8 yr old...

The Wades said...

I feel so much better about my Grant-monster now. He's only like this because he's 2 1/2, not because I'm a bad mom spoiling him like crazy. Thank you for being so informative.

What a tough cookie throwing out those gummy bears. I am way impressed!

Mary and Paul said...

This was a great one!

I can just hear her. In fact, I hear her "twin" over here! Instead of gummy bear, it is "BUBBLE GUM!"

oxoxox

Mary

Anonymous said...

I love her apology at the end. So cute! :) xxxx lix